Infragistics, a company known for its .NET components and developer productivity tools, is “all in” with SharePoint. The company, which announced NetAdvantage for SharePoint at Microsoft’s SharePoint Conference last fall in Anaheim, today announced it has acquired SouthLabs, creator of the SharePlus software that brings a better SharePoint experience to mobile device users. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.
“We’ve considered ourselves the user experience company,” said Jason Beres, vice president of product management at Infragistics. “We’ve been delivering [user experience] tools and components to the developer space, then to the end user with Web Parts, and now the broader user base on devices.”
SouthLabs, he said, is “the clear market leader in SharePoint experience on devices.” The Uruguay-based company has been in business since 2009, and Infragistics also maintains an office in Montevideo, so the companies had some common relationships. The 15 or so SouthLabs employees will all be retained, Beres said, and will work out of Infragistics’ offices in the South American country.
SharePlus is software that Beres said keeps employees productive and data secure. SharePoint, he noted, does not give a great experience on a mobile browser because the application itself isn’t written for touch. “SharePoint is the fastest-growing server product in Microsoft history, and it’s not usable on devices,” he said.
Further, SharePoint via mobile browser does not provide access to a file system, so users can’t upload documents to specific libraries, he said. And there is no document-editing experience either.
SharePlus enables business users to access documents offline via a Passcode lock technology that ensures security and defines access, Beres explained. Users can also view their e-mail, calendars and instant messages, and share documents via an Office 365 connection.
With SharePlus, users can take documents offline and sync back later via 3G or WiFi, Beres explained. The software provides a local file repository for editing on the road, and conflicts can be resolved during sync by either overwriting the existing file or discarding the update, he said. With local WiFi sharing, a user can select a document to share, give the user a URL, and the document can be directly downloaded from one device to the other.
SharePlus is available on Android- and iOS-based devices, as well as Windows Phone 7. Beres said the applications are written natively for a better user experience. It is available in Lite (free), Pro (US$19.99 per user) and Enterprise editions. Enterprise pricing is determined by customer requirements, according to the company.
“SharePlus addresses several challenges for global enterprises,” Dean Guida, CEO of Infragistics, said in a statement announcing the acquisition. “Intelligence is going mobile and the environment for mobile SharePoint is in its infancy. SharePlus is essential for enterprises that use SharePoint as their main collaboration tool and use mobile technology for business productivity.”